Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wet Exit

A some what less cheerful greeting to my 6 or 7 readers.

Today had turned into a beautiful sunny day after a cool over cast start. I had gotten off to a good start trimming an huge and evil looking hawthorn bush in the garden and splitting some firewood. Later in the afternoon I wanted to enjoy the summerness of the day so I loaded Wessel on to Serenity and had a quick snack before heading off to a lake. I chose Box lake, a little puddle where I have traditionally had my first swim of the year, usually on the May long weekend.

The camp site was busy. I unloaded the boat and headed to the up stream end of the lake where a medium sized creek flows in. I had wanted to check out the mouth that creek. Last time I was on box lake the water level was too low to make approaching that point doable. Today it was a little better, though I found my self in an interesting medium. As I got into the very shallow area, trying to get in close enough to get a good photo of skunk cabbage I found the resistance of the boat was going up. The muck at that end of the lake is so soft and deep that my hull was being driven into it and I could hardly tell when it started and the free water began. That was the case until I tried to back out of that spot. The stern is not as smooth and point as the bow and it had to plow through the muck. Naturally in trying to leave that area of the lake I find myself in the shallowest muck in the lake. It was brut force to get out of mess. Wessel's hull was in the muck, it forcing me have to jam the paddle into the muck to get moving.

That should have been the most interesting part of that trip. After I got out in to more open water I stayed near the shore and aimed at some water lilies, they were not flowering yet. I had wanted to get some nice photos of the lilies. After I took a few with my camera I put it way. A few minuets later I reached back into my water proof pelican case strapped securely to the deck. I was reaching for my phone which was riding a long with my camera, I fumbled. The phone flipped out of my right hand and my left hand tried to reach for it. I missed it and in a fit of pure smrts I reached into the water to try to grab my phone. I over reached.

In a mater of seconds I found my self upside down in the water. I had my spray skirt on to keep me warm and dry. The skirt also locks me into boat. I could not role, I have not learned how to do that. I managed to reach up and get a breath of air. I was then back underwater. I remembered in a bit of panicked state managed to reach grabbing blindly for the emergency quick pull core and rip the spray skirt free. In the seconds that followed several things happened at once.

Here is the break down of those seconds. The life vest pulled me to the surface, my hat may have been sheared off seconds before that, the float in it pulled it off my head with some aggression. I also felt my glasses slip off the vest pulled me up strongly and the fast flowing water by my face dislodged them. In this spinning mess I managed to grab the phone. I came up and after I got some air in me had an oh shit moment. My phone could be retrieved because it was shinny.

With the not dying and drowning out of the way I quickly realized that my camera had jumped ship. I never had the chance close the case over the camera, it sank. The water there was chest deep. I could touch bottom. I padded about trying to feel for my camera. It actually took me a while to notice that my glasses were missing. I could not find either item.

Having decided to stop looking for my lost goods I faced a new issue, I was near the shore but a long slog through icky muck. I chose to try a new trick, I tried to get back in to the boat. It took a few tries, I had read that you can get back into a kayak if you climb on to the back of the boat and lower your legs into the cock pit. Having read that did not make it easy. Scrambling up onto to rear deck was not easy, first time I tried climbing up on to the cockpit and got my life vest stuck. I was able to get on to the back of Wessel and fall off. I was then able to get on and get part way into the cockpit before I found myself sitting on the back of the seat. To fix that I managed to fall out again. Eventually I was able to get on to Wessel from farther behind, move the over the seat settle back in the boat. I now know that the pump I picked up with the boat works find.

I paddled quickly back to the dock and grabbed my sun glasses from Serenity. I had hoped that the time it would take me to travel back there would let the muck settle and I could have a fighting chance to find my camera. I tried boy did I try to find it. I but before I did I managed to find my hat. It was a drift and had blown up next to a water lilly and had gotten stuck there. I spent the better part of the nest hour and a half drifting over that area of the lake and not seeing any thing.

All in all it was an expensive trip. I have lost my favorite camera, my G9 is drowned, I have doubts that even if I do find it, could it be brought back to life?. I also lost my non sunglasses glasses. There is an irony here that does not escape me. Last week I made a trip to Nelson, I was two and a half years, on my current glasses, and I have a history of my eyes weakening over that time. So I was relieved after that visit that my eyes had not worsened over that time and I had no need to replace my glasses. Now I am forced to jump on getting new optics.

I am not sure what I want to do about the camera yet, I might go back to the lake tomorrow just to have a look. Perhaps I could spot it with better light and calmer waters, I think I lost my camera at one of the roughest patches of water on an other wise calm lake. I can get my old nikon back online but its not reliable and I will miss the control. I do doubt that I will be able to bring the camera back to life but I would like to bring it back for I think that the SD card could still hold the photos and be recovered. I am almost more pissed off at the lose of images then I am the lose of the camera.

It was not until after I got a shore that I noted the scrapes on my ankle and a possible leach bit on the right foot.
All the Box lake images here are from last falls trip to the lake with wessel.

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